The lumber mill at Upper Canada Village

A trip to Upper Canada Village whilst on vacation. Situated near Morrisburg, Ontario, the village was established in 1958. What is neat about this village is that it is very much a working historical village of the 1860s. The lumber mill, Beach’s Mill, processes mostly pine, but were doing some white ash the day we were there.


Stacked outside for drying, it is later used by the cabinet-maker and other trades on site to build things such as windows, and new buildings.


The mill uses a muley saw, which is a type of slow-moving, straight-bladed, vertical sawmill, but the blade is not in a frame. The saw has a pull-cut and a very rapid cutting speed, with a blade that is 10-12″ wide and 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. It makes strokes of 20-24″, at the rate of 300-400 revolutions per minute, with a cutting speed of 600 feet per minute. The blade is naturally powered by water.


The saw moves along rails, using Swiss/German precision timing  to move the log in sync with the reciprocating blade movement. This causes the saw-teeth to cut the lumber on the downward thrust, and run clear of the lumber on the upward motion, decreasing friction. Vintage mills of this type typically output anywhere from 5000-8000 board feet per day. These saws were used prior to the introduction of circular saws.





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